How swiftly "could" becomes "should." I have not pinpointed the moment - whether it is precise and complete, or whether it happens bit by bit. I usually notice too late. Except -
Today I have a boundary. It was not self-imposed and I fought it a bit. But here I am, with no car, and no simple way to get places. Except to walk. And suddenly all the "shoulds" that require a car just fell away. They aren't holding me captive or even perched on my shoulders. They are irrelevant. There is such freedom within parameters. A wild untamed mind like mine will generate hundreds of ideas for activities, sights, adventures, experiences, errands, tasks, visits - within the span of a day or an hour. But today, they don't matter. I can relax into this moment. This space. This time. A prisoner freed.
Oh, to carry this presence with me – can I, will I do it? Help me remember.
I sometimes long for the energy, excitement, adventure that presented itself with ease, and almost no effort when I lived in New York. So much to see! To taste! To explore! To hear and, always, to feel. But somewhere along the way, all those delicious, magical "coulds" morphed into "shoulds" and "wish-I-hads" or worse, "I'll-never-get-tos." Future and past sadnesses. When the NOW was always exactly enough. Hadn't I seen it? Can't I now?
I just learned something amazing this week that I'm holding fast and close: emotions last (flow through us?) for only 90 seconds on average. It is only when we douse them with the kerosene of our thoughts that they become fiery and big and too much to handle. I am noticing them. Feeling them in my body. My heart, my gut, my eyes. I can sit with any feeling for 90 seconds. It is entirely possible. I merely need to summon the discipline to gently swat away each thought that hurries to this small flame...anxiously hoping to leap upon it and become a part of the oh-so-seductive bonfire. No thank you. I am allowing this flow. Feeling and watching as they dance around, generating the sorts of sensations that emotions do to the body (heat, tears, flutters, knots, pain), and then moving on. Out of the body. Into ... where? Dissolving into the vastness of the stillness surrounding each of us. Or the flow of life. I don't know. I don't have to.
So maybe what I'm saying is ... thank you, me. This presence provides a safe space for emotion to release and flow free. And dissolve. And it is cleansing.